Last Thursday night, the Moore County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina used its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to successfully locate a missing 11-year-old girl within 15 minutes’ time.
According to an announcement from the sheriff’s office, deputies were dispatched at 10:30 p.m. on March 1 to a residence in Jackson Springs, N.C., in response to the missing child.
Lieutenant Tim Davis, a drone pilot for the sheriff’s office, deployed a DJI Matrice 210, which was able to detect a heat signature in a nearby wooded area across the highway. Davis then called in deputies, who found the missing girl sleeping under thick tree limbs and brush, the sheriff’s office says.
“This is a perfect example of why we invested in this drone capability,” says Sheriff Neil Godfrey. “The Moore County Sheriff’s Office is doing everything we can to ensure that we are using technology to benefit the safety of our citizens, as well as our deputies. Without the drone, we would have had to employ additional resources that historically would have included a helicopter. As a parent, I am happy for the child and the family that [the] flight was a success, and as the sheriff, I am proud of Lieutenant Davis and our deputies.”
The sheriff’s office notes that the Matrice 210 UAV, which offers dual-camera capabilities of thermal and standard color imagery, is ideal for search and rescue. The sheriffs announced their purchase early last year.